Contemporary Perspectives on Social Work and the Human Services

Ian O'Connor all

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Contemporary Perspectives on Social Work and the Human Services

By Ian O'Connor, Paul Smyth, Jeni Warburton
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The social and community services labour market is growing rapidly, but profound changes in attitude to the roles of government, market and civil society are resulting in radical administrative reforms which are affecting the delivery of human services. These institutional shifts are reshaping the nature of the social and community services, as well as workplaces, career structures and professional identities of social workers and human service workers.

This book contributes to the development of a new intellectual agenda and brings together in one volume much of the best opinion available in Australia. It describes and analyses the national and international trends affecting human service delivery, social policy formation and the future of the welfare state.

  • Strong theoretical focus - this book is designed for upper year level and graduate courses.
  • Features practical and recent examples of how shifts in government policy are changing the composition and nature of social and human services.
  • Examines the trend towards small government, and its impact on human service delivery and practice. The text identifies the increasing demand for human services combined with increased reliance on corporate models to manage and administer human service organisations.
  • Brings together policy and practice in the area of social work and human service delivery.
  • Examines the role of the state in human service delivery, the rhetoric of individualism, and mutual obligation as a way of shifting responsibility back to the private sphere and the family.
Table of contents
  • Introduction: The challenges of change - Ian O'Connor, Jeni Warburton, Paul Smyth
  • Part I The policy and administrative context: optimism and uncertainty
  • 1. Global pressures, national responses: the Australian welfare state in context - Peter Saunders
  • 2. Human services and employment in the post-industrial labour market - John Quiggin
  • 3. Rethinking the "Old Certainties" social policy, the labour movement and the Whitlam years - Paul Smyth
  • 4. Social policy and the global economy - Anna Yeatman
  • 5. Competition, quasi-markets and the new welfare state - Mark Considine
  • 6. The third sector in the human services: rethinking its role - Catherine McDonald
  • Part II Professions and human services in the new environment
  • 7. Professions in the post-industrial labour market - Margaret Shapiro
  • 8. The profession of psychology in the new environment - Mary Sheehan
  • Part III Remodelling human service practice
  • 9. Critical perspectives on social work practice - Jan Fook
  • 10. Community-based options for social work: sites for creative practice - Jim Ife
  • 11. Social work: an enterprising profession in a corporate environment? - Andrew Jones
  • 12. Rethinking social work for the new environment: international dimensions - Janet George
  • 13. Social work and the human services in a corporatised environment: the case of Centrelink - Peta Fitzgibbon
  • 14. Turning threats into challenges: a positive perspective on the future - Linda Rosenman
  • Index